John sees creatures and Elders are leaders who exercise wisdom or leadership by virtue of their age and experience. In the New Testament elders, along with the chief priests and scribes, constituted the primary opposition to Jesus when he taught in Jerusalem. More singing praises to God in the heavenly throne room.
A heavenly company calls God “holy” and announces that God “was and is and is to come.” God’s holiness or otherness inspires a sense of awe and wonder. In the Old Testament, God is the “I Am.” In Revelation this is expanded backward and forward so that God is and was and will come in the future. God’s existence spans all time. Moreover, the heavenly chorus praises God for having created all things (4:11). Around the throne are four living creatures. One resembles a lion, another an ox, another a person, and another an eagle. Together these creatures represent the created order: birds, wild and domestic animals, and human beings. It is significant that human beings belong to the created order but are not at its center. God the Creator is the focus for praise.